Officials Offer Safety Tips for Ice Recreation
KREX News Room
DENVER - At many higher elevations, ice has started to cover reservoirs, rivers and ponds, attracting ice fishers, skaters and other winter outdoor activity lovers. However, officials are warning the public that although it may look safe, the ice can be very dangerous.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials say ice conditions and thickness varies from place to place, so always assume the ice is unsafe.
Four inches of ice is considered safe for ice fishing and skating. Snowmobiles and ATVs need at least five inches.
Signs of unsafe ice include discoloration, water on top of the ice, any cracks or pressure ridges, open water, bubbles and ice covered with snow.
When venturing onto the ice, remember to: never go on the ice alone, avoid alcoholic beverages (alcohol thins blood and increases the chance of hypothermia), wear a life jacket, prepare a personal safety kit that includes an ice pick, a rope and a whistle to call for help.
Officials advises those who fall in to not panic or swim, as that causes rapid heat loss. They also say that anyone who cannot get out of the water should keep his or her upper body above water until rescued.